Hamlet Archetypal Lens Essay

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Critical Perspectives, such as the Psychoanalytical lens and Feminist lens, are often used to analyze literary works and their purposes. Archetypal criticism is one such theory that focuses on recurring myths and archetypes that are found in literary stories. Among these are archetypal characters. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist and writer, came up with the idea of a monomyth: a pattern found in many literary texts that is the standard path of a character - the Hero. His theory argues that all literary stories follow the same hero’s journey, with the hero going through specific stages of life. This journey contains aspects including the hero’s call to adventure, crossing the threshold, and multiple trials. These factors, among others, are evident in William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Hamlet. Hamlet, the (Tragic) Hero, tries to avenge his father’s death, but his tragic flaw inhibits his endeavors. Thus, Hamlet is most accurately analyzed from an Archetypal lens revolving around the protagonist, Hamlet. Throughout the whole play, Hamlet remains the main character around which the play revolves. The reader knows most of his thoughts, and therefore knows him most intimately. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet merely grieves his father’s death and is angry at his mother for marrying another so soon - much less to his father’s brother. This is shown when he says “But two months dead - nay, …show more content…
Hamlet, however, is more of a tragic hero; he has a tragic flaw. Throughout the play, it is this flaw that hinders his attempts towards killing King Claudius - his main goal. Hamlet’s ultimate flaw is his indecisiveness. As shown in his “To be or not to be” speech, he can’t decide whether or not he should kill himself. Later on, this indecision of his prevents him from killing Claudius. In the play, Hamlet In the end, his tragic flaw leads not only to his own death, but to the deaths of many others - including his own

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